Located in the middle of the San Juan Mountains in Rio Grande River Valley and South San Juan Wilderness, the Rainbow Trout Ranch has always functioned as a guest ranch. Known as a “fisherman’s paradise,” cabins were built and a lodge started in mid 1920s. One of the earliest draws to the ranch was a bathhouse with hot water. Capturing the essence of ranch living, there was no electricity until the early 1960s despite some novel attempts at generating electricity with a creek ran turbine and, later, a diesel generator. Due to the remote canyon location, the ranch had the only working telephone for miles around, often utilized by locals needing to make a phone call.
Today, the ranch offers its guests a range of cowboy activities including horseback riding, fishing, and country and western dancing. Doug even spends time teaching younger guests the “Cowboy Code.” In addition to the running of the guest ranch, David raises quarter horses and teach guests the rodeo sport of team roping. The Rainbow Trout Ranch is a family enterprise and for the owners, “dude ranching is personal.”